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Four Months After Buying a House, Sarah Needs a Home

Sarah Buys a House is a chronicle of Sarah DeGiorgis' journey along the road to home ownership and renovation in West Philadelphia.

I've owned my home for almost four months but it's just now starting to feel like...home. As sappy as that sounds I really just mean that I'm getting used to living there. My pots and pans and plates and glasses are in the kitchen and I'm kind of learning where they are (so many cabinets!). My towels and shower stuff are in the bathroom. My clothes are put away. But there's still SO MUCH LEFT TO DO.

Like the floors. The kitchen floors look great—or they will after the last two coats—but the rest of the house is still that stunning mismatched linoleum. To say the kitchen floors were hard would be, uh, an understatement: We ended up paying someone to do them because it was so expensive to rent a sander and sanding floors is hard. And the dining room and living room are much bigger than the kitchen. And then there's the whole upstairs!

Disregarding the floor, which is incredibly hard to disregard in person because it's ugly and always looks slightly dirty no matter how hard I scrub it, I still have lots of painting to do. Specifically the dining room and living room, which are both partially painted. Classy! Three rooms upstairs need painting, too, but I don't notice them as much since that's where all my still-packed stuff is sitting.

But I've made a decision: This is my home and it needs to feel like a home—and soon. It's so easy for renovations to drag on and on, especially if, like me, you don't have a lot of money. I didn't want to set up the living room and dining room because I wanted to wait until the floors were done. ut I quickly realized after the kitchen that paying someone to do all the floors would be more money than I have right now. Sure, the floors are ugly, but until I get the money to redo them, they'll have to stay. I'll cover them up with rugs so I can actually unpack my stuff and start living in all these rooms. To have everything unpacked will be a revelation!

This is not to say that I'm done with renovations. Oh no, not at all. I'm still going to paint each room before I unpack things in it, because new paint is so nice and clean and bright. I'm going to tackle the drop ceiling in the dining room because that is ugly. I have furniture to paint and windows and doors to scrape and railings to sand and paint and so many other things. And I'm getting a new furnace, which is where most of my money is going. And then there's the basement!

So many things. But I need to be able to walk in the door and feel good about my house and feel like I'm really home.

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